Gov. Cuomo's Gun Control Push Already Hit A Wall In Albany

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Did anyone expect this to go smoothly at all? Doubtful.

Echoing sentiments from both President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, we learned last week that Governor Andrew Cuomo planned on making gun control a top priority after the Newtown tragedy. His administration called for tougher background checks for registration, a wider scope for New York's already-existent assault weapons ban and, most significantly, a magazine ban that would limit gun owners to seven bullets a clip. The final measure mentioned would be the strictest of its kind in the nation.

However, as per usual, a push for gun control has been met with clear opposition from both inside and outside of Albany. The first time we reported this, we mentioned that the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association - a quasi-NRA offshoot lobbying group - was literally up in arms over the proposals, arguing that the Wayne LaPierre Approach to put guns in schools was best fit to protect our children.

Next week, Mr. Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address. It was expected that he'd announce some sort of deal or compromise on the issue beforehand. But, now, it doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon.

According to the Daily News, an insider source has told reporters that "the sides are still far apart," meaning "a quick deal is unlikely" because, of course, it's politics in the end. The source is referring to the Senate Republicans - a group that at first pledged to support further assault weapon restrictions soon after the Cuomo administration mentioned it would be pursuing them. 

Time (a week) changes everything. The Republicans "are bulking on certain restrictions," informing sources that this support wasn't an all-out support for the Governor's proposals... only a few of them, maybe. And this should be a given: in the original proclamation of support, the party never said exactly what restrictions they'd back. As we know, political strategy is all in the fine print.

As of now, the main block to agreement between Cuomo's Democrats and the Senate Republicans is what an assault weapon actually is. But, after Newtown - the horrific catalyst to this revived issue - shouldn't this no longer be a question? 

Regardless, what's most important here is that there's an argument happening in Albany; an action that hasn't been taken in too long. Something should be said to validate all this nonsense: the fact that this issue now has opposition, players and controversy means, as a talking point, it has arms and feet. And that's the most progress lawmakers have made in years.

We said on Monday that gun control vitriol in Capitols across the country will define the months to come in 2013. Governor Cuomo will announce his proposals in his State of the State address next week. The Voice will provide commentary then.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]


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